Art Center Exhibit Examines Globalization, Identity, Diversity

Art Center Exhibit Examines Globalization, Identity, Diversity
Rice Rocket in Action by Clement Hanami is one of many pieces in the exhibit.
Rice Rocket 2.0, mixed media, 2007, by Hanami is on display at the art center.
Granny Doll, by Azusa Oda is featured in the exhibit.

The exhibition Hybrid Theories is open through July 28 at the Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center. The exhibit examines how marginalized people interpret their identities in a world where societies across the globe are becoming increasingly interdependent as a result of globalization.

This exhibition features artists Aya Seko, Azusa Oda and Clement Hanami. The artists share a desire to bridge cultural borders and provide access to unique interpretations of personal identity and experiences.

Seko's work investigates the collision of race and class in many different mediums. In the past few years, her work has often become performance-based, but is not limited to the specific medium. Her interest lies in the investigation of different roles people play in order to navigate their environment.

She was born in Japan, and moved to the United States at the age of one. Seko was raised in Long Beach, and received her bachelor's degree in Studio Art from the UC Irvine. After working for a year, she received a one-year study grant to study at the University of Wakayama in Japan. Upon her return to California, she attended, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the UC San Diego. Currently, she works for the Los Angeles Conservation Corps as a program coordinator for afterschool programs.

Oda's work looks at representations of Japan in the United States and of the United States in Japan as they are depicted in consumer products. Her work critically and visually articulates the inevitable cultural gap that results. She presents mainstream products through a different medium, hoping to spotlight the mythology imbedded in the thing itself.

Oda's personal investment in this exploration is to reconcile her own anxieties and frustrations that arise from being raised in a bi-cultural environment. Witnessing various forms of cultural representation, she examines ways that certain preconceptions are presented, mediated and perpetuated in everyday objects. Through this exploration, Oda wishes to question the significance and impact of cultural representation in consumption and identity formation.

Oda received her bachelor's degree in Studio Art from UCLA and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in Design from the California College of the Arts inSan Francisco.

Hanami is a conceptual artist born and raised in East Los Angeles. His work investigates and integrates multiple cultural perspectives to illustrate the concepts of hybridism in our diverse society.

Hanami works as the art director at the Japanese American National Museum. He oversees the design and production of the museum's exhibitions and printed materials and is a program developer for the newly formed National Center for the Preservation of Democracy. He also teaches a studio arts class at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and is a cultural affairs commissioner for Culver City.

Hanami received his Master of Fine Arts in Design from UCLA with a specialization in new genres. His most recent awards include a 2007 Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), COLA award; a 2006 DCA, Artist in Residence award; and Station artist for the East Los Angeles Civic Center station of the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension (MGLEE).

The Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center gallery is free and open to the public. It is located at 300 W. Second St. in Pomona. For more information, call (909) 469-0080 or go to